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4. Part 2 - The core pillars of supporting your mental health and wellbeing

Listen on Apple Podcasts here.

Listen on Spotify here.

In today's episode, I discuss:

  • The final 3 of 7 core pillars of supporting your mental health and wellbeing

  • The 5th pillar, support systems. This is looking at the habits, routines, rituals and relationships in your life and the three kinds of relationship support systems you can have. I also include some easy, quick and healthy habits you can begin to implement.

  • The 6th pillar, mindfulness. This pillar is all about down time, rest, relaxation and presence within the body. I dive into why mindfulness is so important, easy ways to practise mindfulness in our daily life and how mindfulness doesn't need to be something else to add to your to-do list.

  • The final and 7th pillar, emotional wellbeing. I dive into what emotional wellbeing is, why it's important and nervous system regulation.

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the Mindful Soul Collective Podcast, a safe space for your healing.

I'm your host Shorina, a counsellor, well-being coach, multi-biz owner and mum.

I'm here to talk all things mind, body and soul.

You can expect conversations on mental health, mindfulness, mindset, healing and whole body wellness.

I've completely redefined my relationship to myself and to my life.

And now it's your turn.

I'm so excited you're here.

Let's get into today's episode.

Hello and welcome back to the podcast.

Last week we dove into the first four core pillars of supporting your mental health and


And as a quick refresher, the first pillar was nourishment. So things like water, intake and food.

The second pillar was movement, which is gentle and regular exercise.

The third pillar was sleep. So getting enough quality sleep.

And the fourth pillar we dove into last week was environment, which is getting fresh air

and sunshine every day.

We explored all of these in last week's episode, so if you'd like to know any stats

or research based info on any of them, head back to episode three.

But today we're going to dive into the final three pillars, which I'm so excited for because

these three are definitely my favorite.

And the pillars that we spoke about last week are really based on things that are spoken

about often in society.

So they're things that, you know, we were told in school and we see on TV and we read

in books.

But the three we're talking about today aren't spoken about quite as often if at all.

So this information is going to be really valuable for you, so pause the episode, grab

some paper and get ready to take notes because if you can implement these three pillars, your life will change. And I'm not saying that lightly.

I wholeheartedly believe that these pillars, all of them, but the three today can change

everything for you.

So the first pillar of today and the fifth overall of my core pillars is support systems.

So this is looking at the habits, the routines, the rituals and the relationships in your


I'm going to discuss this pillar in two parts. And the first part is going to be about habits, routines and rituals. And the second part will be about relationships.

So I found a beautiful quote by Mina Tridos that I want to share with you to start this

pillar off.

And that is, if you want to change your world, you need to start cultivating good habits,

routines and rituals, help us to find stability and safety when everything else may feel overwhelming in life.

When we create them, we are taking control of our lives and we're able to direct our

focus towards what's truly important.

Researchers have found that routines can have incredible benefits for our mental health,

such as alleviating bipolar disorder, ADHD and insomnia.

Dr. Steve Ormer also says that routines can alleviate anxiety and stress habits help us

to feel more in control of our lives.

It helps us to feel calmer and more focused and productive and of course less stressed.

You're also going to find that if you have habits that you regularly implement and practice

and have in your life, you're going to find this sense of stability and consistency in

life, which makes everything feel easier.

So are your habits, routines and rituals supporting the life that you want to create?

Do you feel shame or guilt or disappointment over a particular action or behavior that

you do? Or maybe do your friends or family make comments about anything in particular that they're worried about?

In general, a bad habit is going to keep you from being your best. It could harm your health or wellbeing and it may encourage negative behaviors as well.

Good habits are the opposite. So they empower you and support you and they nourish your overall health and wellbeing.

So take some time to determine what habits you currently have and if they're considered

supportive or not and start working on eliminating a couple at a time.

And when you know which habits you'd like to eliminate, you may also want to replace

them with something that's going to be healthy art that supports you instead.

I'm going to give you some ideas of healthy habits you could implement, but this list

is not exhaustive. You may not like any of the ideas, which is so okay.

Your habits need to reflect you, your lifestyle and the kind of life that you want to live.

So don't just use my list as gospel. Find what works for you, but in saying that a couple of ideas and these are just some of them, as I say them, you may already do them.

They don't have to be these big one-hour routines that you have in the morning.

If you have time for that and that supports you, beautiful, do that. I love a morning routine, I think they're amazing. But realistically, we are all so busy and sometimes you just need to implement a couple of more things into your life. Right?

So here are a couple of ideas.

I do most of these things, not every single day, but they're things that I do prioritise.

So opening your windows for fresh air, making your bed, standing at your desk instead of

sitting, wearing sunscreen every day, flossing your teeth or pulling oracle cards, having

in glass of water as soon as you wake up, practicing yoga, drinking less coffee or eating lunch outside. I love to eat my lunch outside. Doing a random act of kindness, maybe every Monday you do a random act of kindness for someone.

Go to bed earlier. Ask for help. Read more to your kids or read more just in general.

Find what works for you. And like I said before, it doesn't have to be this big, overwhelming thing. Start small. Eliminate the things that you know aren't supporting you and replace them with something that's healthier and that is going to support you.

The second part of support systems is the support systems pillars is relationships.

So when we have healthy relationships in our life, we're able to seek practical and emotional support from somebody outside of ourselves.

This means that we're going to have someone to rely on when we need them the most.

And also just kind of through the usual stages of life where things are hard, you know, those roller coasters you go on, it's good to have someone that you can go to.

Research has shown that having a support system of healthy relationships will have a positive impact on your mental health. And it's especially important for women, older adults, patients, students and workers.

There have been studies that have shown depression, loneliness and altered brain function are linked with poor support system relationships. The altered brain functions can make people more likely to suffer with depression or want to take their own life and use alcohol.

One particular study of men who had strong support systems were less likely to die than

those that didn't. And that study was of middle aged men and conducted over a seven year span.

Researchers have also shown that stress is managed more easily when we have support systems in place.

There are three different kinds of relationship support that you can have. And I will probably actually do an individual episode on this alone, but I'll briefly explain

the three to you now. So there's emotional support. So these are people and services you can lean on to support you through times of emotional difficulties. So some examples of this are partners, close friends, family or therapists.

And then there's informational support. So these are people and services you can lean on that gives advice and guidance and mentoring and information. So some examples of this year's again therapists, coaches, doctors, mentors and then there's instrumental support. So these are people and services that take care of your physical needs when you may need it. So some examples of this might be nannies, respite care, cleaners, grocery delivery services and things like that.

Your support system can look a little bit like having romantic partner, parents, siblings,

grandparents, friends, work colleagues, but it could also include things like counselors

and coaches, your doctor, mentors, cleaners, nannies and childcare.

So your support system can really be quite broad and it's important to have a really

diverse mix between personal and professional.

So I have three questions that you can ask yourself to help assess and build your relationship support systems.

So question one is what is it that I need or want from my support system right now?

Maybe you need a bit more help with the housework or maybe you need to hire someone else for your business. Maybe it's to do counselling. So really looking at what you really need and want in your life right here right now.

The second question is do I need more variety in my support system? So like I said before, it's important we have a mix of personal and professional support. So things like friends and family, but then also having things like counselors and coaches of some kind so that you're not entirely relying on just your friends because that can put a lot of pressure on friendships and relationships. So having that mix is really important.

And the third question is do I need to nurture or commit to the support I currently have?

So look into the relationships you have right now and determine if maybe you need to put

a bit more TLC into them. Maybe some friendships need a bit more time and conversations or maybe you're only half heartedly attend counselling.

And of course with this one, do it without judgment and only with love.

And then from here, you can begin to look for ways to build your support system. So some starting points may be reaching out to friends and family using technology to

meet new people or connect with old relationships. You could join clubs or groups.

You could start at a new gym. You could hire the appropriate professional support you need. So with your support systems, everybody is going to be really different.

This is just general information. So again, find what works for you. Look at your personal circumstances. And of course you can get professional help to help you build this support as well.

The sixth pillar of supporting our mental health and well-being is mindfulness.

And of course I was going to mention this one. It's in my business name.

It's in my podcast name. It's so important. It's a key part of my work with clients and for a really good reason. So this pillar is all about downtime and rest and relaxation and being present within your body.

So mindfulness allows us to fully attend to what's happening right here, right now.

It's our ability to be fully present and aware of where we are, what we're doing and not

to be overwhelmed or overreactive about things that might happen around us or to us.

When we're not being mindful, we're usually living on autopilot and missing the beauty

of the current moment.

So a really good example of this is if you drove to work this morning, do you remember

it? Do you remember putting your blinker on and turning down a certain street? Do you remember someone crossing the road? When we're driving our car to work, it's very often we're on autopilot. We don't even think about it. We've done it so many times that our brain just puts us into autopilot and off we go. But think of all the beautiful things you could miss when you're on autopilot.

The researchers reviewed more than 200 studies and the results were incredible.

Mindfulness is especially effective in reducing stress, anxiety and depression and it's also

been shown to help with chronic pain, addiction and fatigue. It's also being found that mindfulness can boost our immune system, reduce stress levels and improve emotional regulation.

Mindfulness is available to us every single second of the day. There are so many tools and techniques that can be used as mindfulness, which I will give you some examples, but I just wanted to share that the most simple and easy way to practice mindfulness is bringing your attention back to your body, your breath and your surroundings. I recommend practicing mindfulness as often as you can.

We're all human and we're going to get caught up in the day to day of life. But as often as you can bring yourself back to that present moment, the more benefits you're going to notice. As I mentioned, there are so many tools and techniques that I could go into, but I'll

just give you a couple of examples that you can go off and explore and see what works

for you. Of course, on this podcast, there's going to be plenty of recommendations about mindfulness, so stay tuned of course.

Here are a couple of examples.

Of course, there's meditation, there's body scanning, there's mindful stretching, practicing

gratitude, taking regular breaks throughout the day, reading. This is really a way of living, doesn't necessarily have to be something else to add to your to-do list every day.

It can be as simple as slowing down which each everyday activity that you do and using

your different senses to tune into that moment right then and there. A really good example I'll act to use with clients is doing the dishes. If you don't have a dishwasher, that is. I don't have a dishwasher because my kitchen is too small, unfortunately. So we hand wash our dishes. So you know, you can feel the warmth of the water on your hands.

You can hear the bubbles popping. You can watch the bubbles pop as well. You can feel like a cloth or the sponge running over the plate. You know, that is practicing mindfulness because you're in the moment, you're using your senses and you're paying attention.

You're not on autopilot, which is what you want.

And the final pillar, the seventh pillar of supporting your mental health and wellbeing

is emotional wellbeing, which is nervous system support and thriving within all parts

of yourself. And we'll briefly mention that with this pillar, there is so much information I can provide. I could be here for days talking about emotional wellbeing. So I'm just going to give you some basic info. And again, this is the basis of all of my work, of all of my blogs, my social media, my podcast. Everything I talk about is working on your emotional wellbeing.

Our emotional wellbeing is going to help us to be more aware and understand and accept our feelings and emotions. It's also going to be our ability to manage difficult times and changes in our life. I really believe that our emotional wellbeing is about understanding our mental health and being able to support ourselves through our life, no matter what comes up and what challenges pop up.

So according to the National Institute of Health, emotional wellbeing is important because it can affect how people function and carry out everyday tasks. It can also affect how well individuals are able to handle stressful situations and challenges and how they adapt to change and how they respond to difficult life events. Our emotional wellbeing can affect relationships, work, our mental health, our physical health, it really can affect every area in our life. If we have issues with our emotional wellbeing, they can show up with things like higher blood pressure, a weakened immune system and increased illness, which I've actually personally experienced as well.

The first thing I've mentioned is that everything I've mentioned within all of the core pillars so today, a last week's episode is going to help you strengthen your emotional wellbeing.

So in saying that, our emotional wellbeing is directly connected to our nervous system.

So I did want to talk about our nervous system just a little bit before wrapping up today's


One of the key contributors to mental health issues is having a dysregulated nervous system. When our nervous system is dysregulated, it can cause us to respond inappropriately to events or people or circumstances and that could be both overreacting and underreacting. This is generally caused by unsolved traumas or stress responses from our past, which can then lead into mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, sleep issues, chronic fatigue and as previously mentioned inappropriate behaviours.

Some symptoms of having a dysregulated nervous system are being easily overwhelmed, crying or feeling upset for no reason or it feels like no reason. Suicidal thoughts, self harm, angry outbursts, high levels of anxiety or depression, unable

to cope with stress or disordered eating. You might just feel overly emotional like you just can tell something's not quite right.

But the good news is we can re-regulate our body and our brain by end of course our nervous system by using somatic techniques. I'm going to talk about a couple of my favourite techniques but there are so many out there. So find what works for you as always and leave the rest behind.

So the couple I want to talk about today is the first one, breath work. There are loads of different techniques you can use for breath work but starting at the basics is probably the best option if you're new to breath work. And this is simply deep breathing in through your nose, down into your belly, holding it for a moment and exhaling through your mouth and repeating.

The second one is cold therapy. So that could be of course like cold plunges like doing ice baths which are quite popular at the moment. It could also be holding or eating ice, drinking ice cold water, it would be standing in front of the fridge or an air conditioner.

I think they're probably the main ones I recommend to clients because they're so easy for us to access.

And the third example to re-regulate your nervous system is using grounding statements.

So I have noticed that this doesn't particularly work with everybody. For me personally it does work but not if I'm in an incredibly disregulated state but I thought I'd mention it anyway because it is a little bit different. So a grounding statement is quite similar to an affirmation so it's a positive statement that we repeat to suit our emotions. So they help to remind us of something that's already true and gives our body a reminder to notice the present moment. So an example of this could be I can feel my heart beating in my chest and I am safe in this moment.

We are never going to be able to entirely control our nervous system. But the goal is to have a balance and hopefully, you know, hopefully allow us to move into a regulated state as quickly and as easily as possible with these tools and techniques.

As I close out today's episode, I wanted to remind you that wherever you are on your

journey, you are not broken and you do not need to be fixed.

We all have stages of life where our mental health is overwhelming and not necessarily

supported how we would like it to be as part of life.

It doesn't mean that you have failed.

It doesn't mean that you don't care.

It doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you.

It means that you are a human being having a human experience.

So as you navigate this journey and your life, keep in mind that there's so many resources

available to you and with the right support, you can overcome any obstacle.

You are strong and capable and deserving of a happy and healthy life.

Wherever you go next is up to you, but just know that I am cheering you on.

I am supporting you from afar and you've got this.

If you'd like to dive any deeper into supporting your mental health and well-being, I do have spaces available for new clients, including after hours appointments.

You can book a free chat to see if I'm the right counselor and coach for you or you can

just go ahead and book a session if you know you would like to work together.

There are links in the show notes. I am sending all of my love and all of my support and I will be in your ears again next week.

With love & support,

Shorina | Mindful Soul Collective

Counsellor & Wellbeing Coach


Click here for a quick and easy list of shortcuts to all of my resources and info on services.

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